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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 11-08-07, 08:39 AM   #1
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My first winter ride

After an unusually warm October end and November beginning (most days were in the 50's, some at around 60) it's finally settled into the normal temperatures for this time of month. It broke freezing for the first time last night, and I went for a 30 degree ride just this morning.

Previous to this year, I've been a more casual biker, never biking when it got below 50. This year I've shaved off 50 lbs though just by doing walking and biking, and I'm looking hopeful as to reaching my weight target (another 60 lbs off) in another year. So I decided I'm not going to pansy out and become a couch potato come winter, so long as I can survive it. Getting in a winter mindset is bad, I gained 10 lbs since last thursday despite doing two 30 mile rides, I was just eating like crap.

In anticipation, I've been reading this forums, ordering some of the gear I knew I'd be needing, but I haven't purchased proper 'winter gear' yet. I ordered some bib tights from nashbar that don't fit, they're being returned for the next size up. Since I didn't have real gear, I decided to do a makeshift short run today just to see what I can stand. I got my shorts, wicking base layer, short sleeved jersey, arm warmers, leg warmers on. Then put my thin windbreaker on top, and jogging wind pants on my legs over my shorts. Cotton gloves under my open-finger gloves. Went out for a quick ride.

- COLD TOES. After 5 miles I was curling them tightly in my shoes, I knew this would need to be remedied somehow. Gotta look into booties.
- cheeks, ears, underside of chin all cold. Need to get one of those face mask things. Tried to fit a normal winter cap under the helmet but it was too thick to get it on.
- morning sun thanks to daylight savings right in the eyes. Though I guess having sun at all is a good thing. I wear prescription glasses though so I am a bit limited for buying sunglasses.
- My fingers were fine, though the extra padding felt a bit awkward, maybe full fingered gloves would be more comfy.
- I wasn't cold on my chest, but it will get colder soon. A thin short-sleeved or sleeveless fleece would probably help keep my core temp up, but help avoid my arms sweating which happens when I ride with my long sleeved fleece over my jersey.
- Wind pants are a bit weird over my chamois shorts, not chafing, but I think it might've been bunching up, since I felt odd sitting.

All in all, it was a fun ride though!
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Old 11-08-07, 09:08 AM   #2
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Sounds like you had fun, congrats on your first winter ride. Boosting your core is a good idea, that heat will radiate out to the rest of you and do a lot more than trying extra layers at the extremities.

If you have any knee issues you may want to look at adding knee warmers to your gear, otherwise you'll find all sorts of combinations of gear from proper cycling, to jeans, to PJ's work for different people, some even use sandals with booties over them for shoes in the winter.
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"And now I think I'll take a bath"
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